Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Isabel and Sebastian-Turban and Mustache

My children are beautiful, the kind of beauty that lights from inside.  Along with that, Isabel and Sebastian are totally and completely goofy.  Meaning they like to laugh and make others laugh. So it is always fun taking pictures with them.  I want to share a few with you today.

Let's start with Isabel.
If you follow you might have seen our family visit where Isabel gets here eyebrows shaped at the mall.  Here is a flashback.

She made the same face as a small child, see?
Now Isabel wants to show Sylvia (Hi, Sylvia) that her brows are still shaped about a month later.  Isabel did not like the session, but she loves her shaped brows. I agreed to take her back when she is ready.  She said she thinks they look great and she is not in a hurry, Maybe November or December. 

I asked Isabel to put on a few of my hats so we could take pictures and see if any would work for Halloween.  I like to take a lot of photos, so I have a variety to choose from.  I took too long and the pictures get progressively more grumpy.  She is so funny.

Purple Cheetah Smile

Pink Stripe Annoyance 
"Is this the last one?"  
"No.  Let's try on the Turban."  
"Do I have to?"  
"Ok, but just one or two."  

Last Turban Photo.  You won't like me when I'm angry.

Seriously, Isabel is really patient with me and I appreciate it.  She has such a beautiful and interesting face.  I always wonder what she is thinking.

Sebastian has been busy.  He is a Police Explorer, which is a program for aspiring officers to learn about police work.  Sebastian was recently formally accepted into the program and he is so excited.  One of the things he had to do was shave his goatee.  Sebastian said he is able to keep a mustache.  I asked him if any of the instructors had a mustache.  He said not all because they have girls too.  I asked how many of the male instructors had a mustache.  All of them.  So funny.

Here is Sebastian modeling his goatee before it has to go.  

Here is Sebastian all shaved.  I caught him by surprise, but what a handsome young man.  He cut his hair too.
I still see the curious and smart boy, but I can also see the hint of the man he is becoming.   I am so proud.  I am proud of both of them.

Thank you for stopping by and sharing a few photos.

Thank Grimm it's Friday!
(My favorite show comes on tonight.)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today is Spider Day!

On Thursdays I like to show the tiny trees I've been working on for the week.  This week I've been working on little spiders and will share them instead.

Here we go.

 This is my smallest, about the size of a quarter.
 This one is a bit bigger made with a stone body bead that looks like marble.

I like how this one looks like it is wearing little bracelets.  I like the head bead too, so sparkly.
This spider has a glass gem with lace and grey copper wire.  I use a special glue to add the lace to the glass gem.  I love the way the lace looks on this one, different.

This is my largest one, the glass gem on this one is about the size of a small cookie (I am hungry).
I put the lace on this gem too, I think it makes for a pretty special spider.

Here are the two lace spiders together.  They are my favorites.

A group photo.

I've had fun putting together the little spiders.  Thanks for taking a look.

Have an outstanding Thursday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

I do love when Wednesday rolls around and I can peek at work desks from around the world.  It is a great way to get to know a lovely group of artists.  You can participate by joining the link party hosted by Artist Stamper Julia Dunnit on her cool blog Stamping Ground.  Or you can stop by Julia's blog to get the list and take a peek at a few desks.

Here is my desk tonight.  I got a few things at JoAnns and am playing with each of the new little items.  I got two faceted green glass leaves that I love but I can't decide how I will use.

I am still working on Halloween trees as you can see in my light box.  I am also working on a few special trees that I haven't finished so I put rubber bands on them.  Keeps the beads from falling off.

My favorite thing I've been working on lately is a wire and bead bee.  It is a gift for a friend.  I love the little antennae.
That is what I am up to on this bright and beautiful Workdesk Wednesday.  I hope your week is off to a great start.

Etsy-New Holiday Happenings!

You likely know Etsy from shopping on the handmade marketplace website or you may have a online shop of your own.  A few new things are going on at Etsy that I am not sure everyone knows about.  
Many shops (including mine) now have the ability to accept credit cards directly at check out through Etsy.  That means Etsy protects the transaction and it is no longer required to sign up for a PayPal account.  I know I've heard that opening and maintaining a PayPal account has been a deterrent for some when it comes to Etsy, no longer a problem.  Etsy calls it direct checkout and it works.

Etsy is also preparing to launch gift cards for the holiday season in October, You can read the Etsy News Blog Announcement of the giftcard here. Yes, finally.  So you will now be able to buy an Etsy gift card and the person you give it too can buy from several shops with one checkout.  Yea!

I think both of these things are exciting and will make it easier than ever to buy special handmade items from artists around the world.  Etsy is an easy way to get beautiful handmade items and support artists and makers directly.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight an Etsy shop that I think is amazing.

Handmade Artisan Jewelry by Annie Smith
Portland, Oregon

Annie is a blacksmith (cool right?) and she makes very special personal jewelry. Many items are personalized with your own words, names or initials.  Just click on the photo to go to the detailed listing.  Annie has more than 100 beautiful handmade items in her shop, so take a look when you get a chance.

Grace RIng, Personalized in Sterling SilverLove Is...Stacking Bands in Sterling Silver:  Hand Stamped PersonalizedSmall Isis Hoops in Hammered Brass

I mentioned that I have an Etsy shop (just click the sign below to go visit): 

Here are a few of my favorite items (click the photo to see the item details):
Pink Glass Tiny TreeDark Grey Wire Tiny TreeGreen and Silver Tiny Tree  

Keychain with a Black Lace Glass Gem and Initial CharmsGolden Tree and Full Moon NecklaceKeychain with a Black Glass Gem, a Pewter Lion Charm and a Brass Stamp "ROAR"

Midnight Pastoral Skull MagnetsKey Chain with a "Midnight Pastoral" Skull Glass Gem and Amazonite and shell beadsBlack Tree of Life Necklace

My trees can be made in many different colors and stones, including birthstones and mixed colors.  I enjoy custom orders because I get a chance to make something personal. 
I am now making key chains with unique and old fashioned Tim Holz hardware.  I think they make a great special small gift.

Please keep us in mind as you begin your holiday shopping.  Consider Etsy too, so many interesting things can be found there and you get a chance to buy something unique and handmade directly from the maker. 

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Halloween Yes! and The Costume Search Continues.....

My lovely daughter, Isabel was initially unsure about dressing up for Halloween this year.  I know I would dress up if I could;), so I used my Halloween enthusiasm and was able to convince her to dress up on the big spooky day.  Yea!
Last week I found five great Halloween costume ideas, you can check them out here.   I got the dress up win, but the costume ideas were rejected.

Hey, I take what I can get, remember she is 13.  So I am still looking for THE costume or at least a great idea to build from.  We are pretty crafty and I can sew, so we can make just about anything she likes.  We did talk briefly about a zombie back up plan.  We would just do make up and tattered clothes if we can't come up with something more original.

So here is my 2nd list of interesting Halloween costumes.  I know some of the kids pictured are younger, I just like the bright and vibrant ideas.  Isabel speaks craft so I feel confident that we can work together to make something fun and age appropriate.

You can find all of these ideas and more with instructions on the great website

1. Greek Statue.  How cute is this?  A basic dress with white fabric draping around the shoulders make this a pretty easy costume.  You could also do a basic head piece with gold leaves instead of the green leaves and grapes.  Isabel loves Greek Mythology, so this might work.  It could also be turned into a goddess costume pretty easily if she likes.
Greek Goddess Halloween Costume
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2. Ham Sandwich.  This one is so funny.  Definitely a more time consuming craft project, but one of a kind.  I would use cardboard, paint and construction paper to put this together.  The pickle hat is my favorite part.

Kids Ham and Cheese Costume
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3. Fortune Teller.  I dressed up as a fortune teller one year when I was a kid.  This costume is easy to put together but can have a lot of personality.  I have a turban too.

Fortune-teller Costume
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4. Target.  This one is funny and easy to wear for a 13 year old.  I would put the arrow front to back instead of side to side, to make it look like someone missed the target.

Target Costume
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5. Pizza.  This could be done pretty easily in various types of construction paper and cardboard.  I really like this one, it will make everyone smile.
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6. Blue Bird.  The possibilities here are endless.  You could do a brown make up and brown feathers to look like an owl.   You could do red feathers to look like a cardinal.  White feathers to be an eagle or dove.  You could go all out and do some type of wings that strap to the arms.  I would use cardboard, paint and feathers.  Maybe too flashy for Isabel, but it might just be interesting and whimsical enough to catch her eye.
Bluebird Costume
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7.  Washing Machine.  This is pretty cute, but may be complex to put together.  Although you could use a few items you might normally throw away.  I think it is funny enough to at least show Isabel.

Washing Machine Halloween Costume for Kids
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8.  Octopus.  Simple and funny and pretty current, I've seen Octopus (or is it Octopi?) everywhere.  We could re-purpose an over sized sweat shirt.  
Octopus Costume
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9.  Pumpkin.  I consider this one a solid choice.  The leaves make it look feminine and pretty somehow.  She might like the simplicity here and if the face make up is done right it can be a cool twist on a classic.
Pumpkin Face Costume
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10.  Mummy.  This is also close to the Zombie that Isabel is interested in.  The zombie would likely have more darkness around the eyes.  We have a good face make up kit, Isabel would just need the fabric strips.  

Mummy Face Make-Up for Halloween
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There we go.  Do you have a favorite?  

I'll let you know what Isabel thinks about my list.  She was excited after we talked yesterday so she may develop a few ideas herself.

Thank you for taking a look at some of my Isabel costume ideas.

I hope your Monday is fun and interesting.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Top Ten Movies: The Color Purple

Movie number 10.  This list has been tough.  I could put 15 different movies down depending on my state of mind. The deepest truth is that I love movies.  They have been an important part of my life.  I watched almost desperately as a young person, looking for clues about my place in the world.  Even the goofiest movies helped me by posing questions I would never have considered.

 Please know that my list is not super serious.  I did not want to list a bunch of dramas that I found thought provoking, although that has it's time and place.  My list is mostly about how movies you don't expect can stick with you over time.  Now, at this time and under my unique circumstances, movies are like familiar friends that I am able to meet and enjoy again.  They can bring back a quick rush of memories or just remind me of a certain person, place or time.  I have been extremely fortunate and have seen a ton (as if each movie was a vhs tape and they were put into a huge pile) of movies. So my Top Ten Movie list is like a group of old friends I am suggesting you meet.

Ok, Movie number 10.  I kept coming back to a movie that genuinely moved me, a movie that also deeply marked me when I was young.  I saw it first when I was 13 or 14 and looking back that was probably too young.  The movie was so real, I remember being completely blown away.  It was almost an experience-powerful, painful, funny at times and completely unforgettable.

Movie #10 in a list with no particular order:

The Color Purple
The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. Wikipedia
Release dateDecember 18, 1985 (USA)
MPAA ratingPG-13
AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Actress - Drama Film, More

I know it is a very serious movie.  I know the experiences shown in the movie are very far removed from my own life and experiences.  There is something in the way the film was made that amplifies a connection.  I felt The Color Purple in a way that I don't think I've felt any other movie.  Steven Spielberg has a gift.  He really brought to life a story so sad and heartbreaking at times and then so uplifting, so about love.  I was compelled to read the book by Alice Walker.  It is so well written, she brings you into a world and shakes you up.
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Then there is Whoopi.  She seemed born to play the role of Celie, her eyes are haunting.  Seeing her go through so much on screen makes me feel like I know and love her. 

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Danny Glover played well his complex character.  I hated him.  What he does in the end though means something, I'm just not sure what exactly.
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Oprah was so good I almost wish she had done more acting.  She carried her story line like a champion weight lifter.  When she was broken, I was too.  
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Margaret Avery shocked me several times in the movie, but her singing voice is so vibrant and mature, it haunts me to this day.  When she sings and goes to the church to confront her father, just wow.  Or when she sings Sister.  Fantastic.
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This movie is very special and if you have not seen it, please consider it.  The story is full and rich and leaves you with a strong feeling of hope.  

"I'm poor, black, and I might even be ugly, but dear God I'm here.  I'm here."

One quote today, sometimes one is enough.  I'll just leave you with a few great photos. 
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My Complete List of Top Ten Movies:

Lady Hawke
Stand By Me
The Fifth Element
Coming To America

Enemy Mine
Forrest Gump
Joe Versus the Volcano

The Color Purple
The Princess Bride
Galaxy Quest

I hope you have a wonderful rest of the weekend.  Welcome, Fall!